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100 years on, the fight for true equality for all continues
February 19 2018, 07:53 | Irvin Gilbert
Women's vote: Theresa May hails 'heroic' suffragettes on centenary
In the United Kingdom, green, white and purple were the colours of the Women's Social and Political Union, led by Emmeline Pankhurst, with purple symbolising dignity, white purity and green hope. But it wasn't really until 1897, when Millicent Fawcett founded the National Union of Women's Suffrage Societies, that the campaign for women's suffrage really gained momentum.
Jeremy Corbyn will tomorrow mark the centenary of women's suffrage by staging a special meeting of the shadow cabinet at the Museum of London as he launches Labour's year-long campaign for women's equality.
Race and Diversity - The early Women's Suffrage movement embraced women of all races, but overt racism in the later years led some suffragists to argue for the inclusion of all races winning the right to vote-including those effectively denied their voting rights. In 1961, it was available to married women only, but availability was extended in 1967.
This is a striking 97 years after women in the United Kingdom first won the vote, and 134 after women in the Isle of Mann.
This past year has been a harrowing time for equality with the #metoo and #timesup movements highlighting grave injustices against women.
Three other historic bills will also go on display: the Parliament (Qualification of Women) Act 1918, which allowed women to become MPs, the Equal Franchise Act 1928, which gave women complete voting rights parity with men, and the Life Peerages Act 1958, which allowed women to become life peers in the House of Lords. The law might have moved on from a 1918 Act which sacrificed the rights of young and working class women, but much of our society hasn't. A woman's role was domestic, encompassing little outside having children and taking care of the home. After that, until 39 weeks, it's £145.18 a week, or 90% of your weekly salary - whatever is lower. It is a universal right that has to be fought for and taken by the demos, the people.
"I don't think we've got the stage where we're anywhere near actually equality". They would even assault cops and stage hunger strikes to protest against the conditions. But we should not ignore the ongoing inequality that still persists in many streets of Britain and in high offices of government, academia and corporations.
Transparency in this area is at least increasing. So far it's not looking great though - easyJet figures showed a huge 51.7% gap in the company.
She said one milestone would come in April, when companies employing over 250 people will be forced to publish gender pay audits - a move that could lay bare the discrepancy in pay between men and women.
It's a system stacked against women. Or that boardroom representation across many industries is so uneven?
The country's current prime minister, Labour's Jacinda Ardern is New Zealand's third female prime minister.
But in 1999 Time magazine named Pankhurst as one of the 100 most important people of the 20th century noting "the militant campaign was absolutely essential to moving the vote forward".
Another group, the Women's Freedom League (WFL), was set up a year later by Charlotte Despard and Teresa Billington-Grieg, and were somewhere in between the other two groups in regards to their approach. Recent police figures suggest that sexual offences are actually increasing.
This law granted suffrage to most men so, for the first time, all my male forbears could vote, but the women from my family remained excluded from this courageous new world.